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Archive for April, 2011

Grace and peace,

today we are going over Matthew 26.

Here is a link to it on biblegateway.com

Back in December of 2007, I started reading the Harry Potter books.  Before that, I hadn’t read anything or seen any of the movies.  All of the books were published and the 5th movie just came out in theaters or something like that.  Back in high school, my friends and I would watch the Lord of the Rings movies which were awesome and Harry Potter was lame.  One friend though, told me the books were great and I should try reading them.  Reading? Who reads?… Harry Potter? Wizards are stupid (unless it’s Gandolf)… Reading Harry Potter? Probably not.  Well, my friend convinced me and I read the 1st book and it ended up being good.  And I read the second and third and…. and then the seventh in like 2 days!  They were/are great but now, I’d have to put up with people making fun of me for liking a story about a wizard… After a while, I decided to embrace liking the books and if it came up, I’d jump into a conversation about it!

In chapter 26, we read about many things (it’s a long chapter).  Matthew records something that I can relate to very well, maybe you can too.  Jesus in v34 tells Peter, one of the most devout disciples, the first one to claim Jesus’ divinity, part of Jesus’ inner circle of disciples, that he, Peter, was going to deny Jesus.  Peter than said

“Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”

The chapter concludes with Peter weeping bitterly.

Peter, of course, denied that he was with Jesus.  He denied that he even knew of Jesus.  Peter called curses down on himself saying he didn’t know Jesus.

But he did.

Why would he turn from Jesus like this?

It’s easy from my viewpoint to look down on Peter.  I mean, Peter has spent all of this time with Jesus, getting to know Him and building a relationship, how weak is he to just turn his back because of some embarrassment?  Peter just got done saying he’d follow Jesus to the grave! Now a girl come up and asks if he knows Jesus and he says no!  I mean, I guess Peter is sitting with the same guards who just arrested Jesus and he is scared but still that isn’t a very good excuse.

But then I stop and think…

How often I forget that I am a disciple just like Peter.

How often I forget that I deny Jesus all the time.

How often I ignore scripture to do what I want.

How often I think about what others would think if posted scripture on facebook.

How often I look the other way when a moment comes to talk with others about Jesus.

There was a time that I knew of Jesus, would call myself a Christian, but I didn’t want people to know, because they might make fun of me.  I needed to make a decision to embrace Jesus and I did and I have.

At one point, I decided that no longer am I willing to deny Jesus to the people around me.  I don’t know everything and I’m sure I’ll be stumped by some questions but I will not be stopped by my weakness and insecurities from telling others about the power of Christ.

Sometimes, I think I need to be shown how I am denying Christ before I can stop.  For Peter, it was a rooster’s crow, for me, it is things like friends posting scriptures, people answering the question “what did you do this weekend?” with “I went to church and we learned about _______”.

How do you deny Jesus?

-Zack

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Grace and peace,

today we are going over Matthew 25.

Here is a link to it on biblegateway.com (NIV 2010)

Back in 2008, Melanie and I moved from Florida back to New York.  Melanie got a job pretty easy right off the get go.  I however, did not.  Much of that first fall and winter was me sitting around looking for a job or watching TV or playing video games… lots of video games… Rainbow Six: Vegas… online… awesome… Anyways… I would be at home and Melanie would call before she left work.  This was my 20 minute warning.  The dishes that have sat out since dinner yesterday, the unmade bed, the mess I had made from eating breakfast and lunch, all had to be taken care of before she got home, or at least the bed and I’d be doing dishes as she got home.

Matthew continues with Jesus talking about the second coming.  Jesus tells 2 parables about what the second coming will be like.

He tells of 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom.  They waited but some weren’t prepared for the wait.  After a while, some left and missed out when the bridegroom arrived.

He tells of 3 servants who were given 5, 2, and 1 talents (money).  The first 2 servants put their talents to work and doubled their money.  The 3rd servant, didn’t put his talent to work but instead hid it so he wouldn’t be responsible.  When their master came back, he was pleased with the first 2 but banished the 3rd calling him wicked and lazy.

What are we to take from this?

I think we should keep the idea with us that Jesus is coming back.

I think this is possibly one of the toughest things to apply to my life.

As I posted last time, there is a group of Christians who believe Jesus is coming back on May 21st.  It has changed their lives.

If you knew Jesus was coming back May 21st, how would it change your life?

How important would it be to talk to a friend about Jesus?

How would you feel about evangelism to strangers?

Would you read your bible more and try to apply Jesus teachings more?

Would you want to visit Europe to see Venice?

Would you want to see the pyramids of Egypt or Mexico? (pyramids in Mexico?!?!)

I feel for me, the reality of Jesus coming back wouldn’t make me want to travel, but talk to people about Jesus.  It is there I have to give credit to the We Can Know people who are changing their lives to tell people about Jesus before May 21st.

Here’s the thing though, it is reality!

Jesus tells us He’s coming back! He says to be ready because it could be at any time!

We should strive to live life like today could be our last.

If the skies opened up and you saw Jesus coming back in glory, what would be your response?

 

-Zack

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